Recent controversy aside, Youkilis may soon find himself playing for his job if his production does not increase in a hurry. I'm not saying Middlebrooks could replace a healthy Youk's production this year, but at the very least, he could come in and play above average defense and perhaps provide an offensive spark in the bottom of the lineup.
In light of Youk's slow start, and Middlebrooks torrid start to the year, how long is Youk's leash? How long does he have to perform poorly before a serious change needs to be considered? Conversely, how long does Middlebrooks have to sustain his current pace before he starts forcing some consideration to be made? Clearly he's off to a hot start. His plate discipline and lack of walks will be a concern as will making the jump up to the majors. His numbers will also eventually level out in AAA at some point. However, if Youk keeps underperforming, and Middlebrooks keeps raking, at some point, serious discussions have to be had about giving him a shot, even if it's a DL stint for Youk and a "2 week tryout" of sorts for WMB.
Edited by absintheofmalaise, 08 May 2012 - 10:21 PM.